Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm afraid of the dark. Of (dark) basements. Of scary movies. I spent the last 20 minutes of the Blair Witch Project with my legs tucked up under me, my eyes closed and my hands moving constantly over my ears to prevent any sound from entering. I had to stop watching the X-Files on t.v. once I was living alone because it was too scary. I will not sit on a toilet in the dark without first flicking on the light to see if there are any snakes or rats in the toilet. And I'm afraid of fish.

When I'm swimming in a lake or river, I hate to be the first one in the water or the one the farthest out. I figure those are the people most likely to get bitten or maimed by a fish. Before swimming, I will sometimes remove all of my jewelry, just in case it attracts the fish. I mean, fish will bite metal lures and hooks, so why not my ring finger!? There are a few scary fish in the lakes near me, like muskies. Knowing these fish may be lurking around my dangling, delicious toes gives me the heebie-jeebies.

"The muskellunge is one of the largest and most elusive fish that swims. A muskie will eat fish and sometimes ducklings and even small muskrats. It waits in weed beds and then lunges forward, clamping its large, tooth-lined jaws onto the prey. The muskie then gulps down the stunned or dead victim head first."
Gives me the shivers just reading about it.

I blame my fear of fish on my Ranger Rick magazines. One issue in particular. I'll never forget it as long as I live. The back cover of Ranger Rick magazine was always a poster of an animal. One month, the poster was a moray eel, with mouth agape, lunging directly at the photographer. I was traumatized by that photo and soon after, a fear of all fish emerged. At one point, I was even afraid of swimming in pools in case a fish, shark or eel made it's way up the pool drain from the river or the ocean.

We're heading up to a rented cottage this weekend, and it's on a lake. I will be leaving my wedding rings in the city and making sure I eat neither muskrat nor duck while I'm there. And I'll send DH in the water first.


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